Nothing at Kensington Street Social disappoints. Service is impeccable. The fit out is fantastic. In fact I like everything about Kensington Street Social. Sure, there are some dishes that are better than others – but that’s expected.
The food is adventurous without being overbearing. Start with the crisp ink crackers accompanied by a creamy cucumber and trout roe dipping sauce.
But stay for the English breakfast tea and toast with wild mushroom tea, gentleman’s relish, and bone marrow toast. What a spectacular way to begin your meal. It’s an umami party of mushroom broth deliciousness, and the theatre of pouring the ‘tea’ into the cup adds playfulness to the experience. Plus bone marrow. Game over.
Because I’m a burrata fanatic I was excited for the vine tomato with Vannella burrata, 25 year aged balsamic vinegar, and tomato seasoning. But the way the burrata is stuffed into the tomato actually loses some of its gooey, creamy texture. Having said that, it’s still a great dish. Burrata and tomatoes are forever besties in my eyes.
The slow cooked organic hen’s egg, sweetcorn, seaweed, parmesan, sage, and chicken scratchings is another favorite of mine. The custardy sous vide egg with gravy poured at the table and crunchy bits of chicken scratchings on top brings together a flawless combination of flavors and textures.
I don’t ever order tartare, but the grass fed veal tartare with egg yolk jam, radish salad, and toasted sourdough is all flavor.
But of course carbs are the main event for me. The L’Artisan Mountain Man washed rind, white onion, smoked potato, bacon, and thyme sourdough flatbread is a 10/10. Literally combining some of my most loved ingredients, this gets my vote for dish of the day. Later on we find out that you can order the flatbreads up on the rooftop pool bar of The Old Clare Hotel. I know where I’m going for my next pool party.
I’m madly in love with the blue eye trevalla, cauliflower cheese puree, gin, seaweed, and kohlrabi. It’s by far my favorite out of the proteins. Punchy, smooth, cheesy.
The lamb rack and braised shoulder stars a tasty, tasty Sunday lunch gravy. A bed of cauliflower cous cous seals the deal. Although the cheesy cauliflower from the blue eye travella dish KOs this cous cous.
Lastly, the Paroo Kangaroo with soured sweet potato, cider poached pear, wattle seed, and land cress is pretty as a picture. I personally found the soured sweet potato too astringent. I ask how it’s made, and the staff kindly find out for us that the silky sweet potato puree is made with vinegar. That explains the sourness.
On the desserts front, the buffalo ricotta, lemon thyme peaches, and honeycomb is my pick of the bunch. The buffalo ricotta is dotted with vanilla bean, and the peaches add juicy sweetness. I love that it’s not overly sweet, too.
The chocolate and peanut bar, caramel and banana ice cream is the richest of the lot. And on the other side of the spectrum, the yoghurt mousse with lemon curd, malt meringue, and basil is very savory, fresh and almost more like a palate cleanser than a dessert.
Baked caramelised apple puff pastry with cider vinegar ice cream and pickled apple celebrates the humble apple wonderfully. But the flaky pastry is the hero of the dish.
The food is exciting at Kensington Street Social. And so are the cocktails. Look, I probably shouldn’t have ordered the Cereal Killer. But the novelty of the glass that looks like a milk carton got the better of me. The combination of Ketel One vodka, fruit looped milk, apricot, and Aperol is too sweet for me.
The Hipster Breakfast, on the other hand, is kind of genius. Especially because we haven’t had our coffee when we arrive for lunch. The coffee cup is filled with banana bread infused Pampero rum, cold drip coffee, salt butter, and Fernet Branca. Martini drinkers can indulge in an innovative Vegemite twist with the Vegemitini. It’s Tanqueray gin, vermouth blend, vegemite brine, and a vegemite shard all served in a Vegemite jar. Holy Vegemite.
Kensington Street Social
3 Kensington St, Chippendale, NSW
Breakfast: Mon-Fri 7am-1030am, Sat 8am-1030am, Sun 8am-10.30am
Lunch: Mon-Sat 12pm-230pm, Sunday Brunch 11am-230pm
Dinner: Mon-Sat 6pm-10pm, Sun 6pm-8pm